Are you a ‘Success Seeker’ or a ‘Failure Avoider’?

Do you at times get a feeling that you are being controlled by the ‘consequences’?

When do you think you are not controlled by ‘consequences’?   As for me, you don’t feel controlled when the consequences are pleasant or something good. When you are working to get something which makes you feel contented and fulfilled.

When you are working towards ‘avoiding’ something or to run away from something then you get controlled by the consequences. That’s called negative reinforcement.

Let me give you an example. If you exercise so that you don’t put on weight, decrease your cholesterol levels, keep your heart in condition, to strengthen your muscles then you will be controlled by the consequences. Similarly if you quit smoking or wish to quit smoking because you won’t get cancer or hear attack then it is likely that you won’t quit smoking. There are several instances when such people quit smoking only to restart again. I’ve seen people who have had multiple heart attacks and yet continue to indulge in the activities which could affect their condition. This happens because of the success-seeker-over-failure-avoidernegative reinforcement and the intrinsic motivation is out of fear than out of any possibility of pleasant experiences. If you are of this type you are mostly the ‘failure avoider’ than ‘success seeker’.

So how do you get to become a ‘success seeker’?

First of all you need to change your paradigm. You need to look at the pleasant things which will happen to you cause of your actions. When I quit smoking I see myself taking the stairs up to the 8th floor of a building without a fuss. When you exercise and are fit you can travel the world, play soccer or basketball go trekking and so on…. This is called positive reinforcement. I am sure you are getting my point.

Alas! I see most of you who are still doing things with a lot of negative reinforcement. That’s the reason why you do not enjoy what you do. If you are a student you write exams because it is a ‘requirement’ than an opportunity, you attend classes because it is a requirement and not an opportunity to learn something. The working class go to office as going to office is a requirement to get your salary and make your ends meet. I see nobody going to office ‘to make a difference’. I have heard many of my friends say after a stressful day at office “What do I do, I got to work, I have mortgages to pay, my child’s education, perform my sisters wedding and if I don’t all this will kill me” What are they effectively doing? Avoiding failures than seeking opportunities.

It starts when you wake up; the ‘Alarm Clock’. I wondered why it is not called an ‘Opportunity Clock’.

Before you start your day today to avoid some failure or the other, I urge you to ‘pause’; ‘reflect’ and ‘visualize’ all the pleasant feelings and consequences which you will have by doing something. Try it. Don’t say to yourself “if I sit to visualize I will miss this and that” it is a trap.

Do this everyday and you are well on your way to be a ‘Success Seeker’.

Sree Kumar Palakkal

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